Jan 27 2009

From The Vaults: Split Enz (1975)

Published by at 11:35 pm under Alternative,Folk,MP3's

Six years after the Beatles broke up, at the apex of Neil Young’s influence stateside, New Zealand’s Split Enz released an album encompassing Young’s folk ideals tinged with the Beatles charming quirks. At times, Beginning of the Enz sounds like B-sides – or simply an alternate version – of Magical Mystery Tour, at others like a sequel to Harvest. It’s freak-folk, it’s art-rock inflected bluegrass, it’s something entirely different, a mélange of influences spanning the world, and a reflection of New Zealand’s isolation from the rest of the world. Their harmonies are guttural and often off key; but they’re real, they feel right, like Malkmus’s harmonies in early Silver Jews recordings. The refrain in “For You” transforms after each verse, separated by bursts of bass-driven melody and backed by a sweeping, string-driven descent into something wonderful. “Home Sweet Home” is backed by harpsichord and rushing cymbals, and freaked-out with voice-over samples from what sounds like an old-tyme British TV show. The album is constantly evolving, a trip as epic as New Zealand itself. Distorted guitars wash over twangy mandolin, spacy keyboards compliment airy vocals, while popping, rolling bass backs everything. Get into it.

From Beginning of the Enz:

Split Enz – For You

Split Enz – Home Sweet Home

Split Enz – Split Ends

And below is the video for their 1980 hit, “I got You.” This song increased their notoriety worldwide, making them one of the few New Zealand bands to make it internationally. Hysterically 80s, also a major departure from their ’75 sound.

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One response so far

One Response to “From The Vaults: Split Enz (1975)”

  1. Anonymouson 10 May 2012 at 5:29 pm

    You have no clue what you’re talking about… “I got you” wasn’t a departure from their sound… You should listen to “my mistake” (1977)

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